Shaun of the Dead, a film in which every beat is perfect (that’s not hyperbole; I 100% believe that), turns ten-years-old today. The movie was a breakthrough work for director/co-writer Edgar Wright, co-writer/star Simon Pegg, and co-star Nick Frost. It would also thematically connect to two more movies: 2007′s Hot Fuzz and 2013′s The World’s End. Affectionately dubbed “The Cornetto Trilogy” because the popular ice cream shows up in all three movies, the films all share an interesting thematic combination of maturity mashed-up against an oppressive environment.
They also have remarkably precise screenplays and design, and now you can explore the behind-the-scenes mechanics by checking out interactive screenplays for all three movies. Click here [via Edgar Wright] to check them out, and if you want to throw Shaun of the Dead a birthday party, don’t forget to bring flowers.
Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.
Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth Evans‘ The Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
And so here we are again. The “Top 10 Films” list is an act of vanity, and one I enjoy annually. Almost everyone who does it is basically proclaiming, “I saw many movies this year, and lo, in my infinite wisdom, have culled them down into these chosen ten. I would inscribe them on stone tablets had I the time or money to do so.” But they do serve a purpose beyond ego (although I do love the ego part): they can guide. We love movies, and we want to share them with other people so they can (hopefully) experience the same joy, wonder, fear, introspection, and a host of other emotions. I can’t inscribe these titles in stone, but they still left a serious impact on me. If you’ve seen these movies, I want to discuss them. If you haven’t seen these movies, I hope you seek them out so we can have a conversation. For me, these ten titles live beyond the screen, and not just in an itemized list.
Check out my Top 10 Films of 2013 after the jump.
Top 10 lists are inherently flawed. How does one compare the “greatness” of a film like Gravity to a film like 12 Years a Slave? The two could not be more different from each other, but they both exemplify the best of what movies have to offer. Alas, the Oscars attempt to measure the quality of one film against the quality of another year after year, but for my personal Top 10 list I’ve opted to rank according to “favorite” rather than “best”. 2013 was a very good year for film, particularly these last two months. I enjoyed a great deal of what 2013 had to offer—way more than just the following 10 movies—but if forced to choose, I’ve come up with a list of my 10 favorites. It’s entirely possible that my arbitrary rankings could look entirely different tomorrow, but after the jump I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite films of 2013.
It’s a verifiable fact that the most important thing an entertainment blogger can do at year’s end is to compile a list of ten films, out of the hundreds available*, that have proven themselves most enjoyable and memorable. It’s a trial to whittle the full calendar of release dates down to ten – not nine, nor eleven, but ten, a magical tally agreed upon by the annual consensus of global bloggers – but we’re professionals trained in both the mystical art of arcane list creation and the economical practice of reducing an entire spectrum of creative talent down to a bite-size list of bullet points meant to be consumed in the time of the average lunch break. So after 364 days of relentless toiling, I present to you, with utmost sincerity, reverence and confidence in your ability to comment in a civil and respectful manner, dear reader, my top ten favorite films of 2013. Hit the jump to bear witness the to pinnacle of movie blogging achievements (at least until this time next year).
As part of Collider’s new column, Oscar Beat, I’ve been covering the in’s and the out’s of this year’s awards race for the past few months. While there are plenty of excellent films contending for a number of different awards, there are also a number of films that, for one reason or another, don’t fit the “Oscar mold” but deserve recognition all the same. The Academy is loathe to recognize any kind of comedic work despite the fact that the “Best Actor” or “Best Picture” categories lack disclaimers that would disqualify genres other than drama, and smaller pictures have a hard time drumming up support against the studio-backed fare.
After the jump, I run down a number of films, performances, and screenplays from 2013 that are deserving of awards attention despite failing to drum up serious support.
Forgettable films are a waste of time because they leave us with nothing. Being completely inoffensive is arguably worse than being terrible because at least terrible movies give us something to talk about. We may be ragging on it, but at least it’s not something like After Earth, a film where the only thing I remember about it is how forgettable it is. But to focus on the positive, the best movie moments move us in a positive way. They provide more than a target for snarky putdowns or jaw-dropping examples of complete incompetence. The best movie moments can inspire us, shock us, exhilarate us, and bring us absolute joy.
Adam, Dave, and Matt have written about five movie moments that jumped out at them in 2013. They’re unranked and there could have been far more selections, but these 15 moments are as good as any that came out this year. [Spoilers ahead, obviously]
Oscar frontrunner 12 Years a Slave has nabbed its first critics group award in a very big way. The Boston Online Film Critics Association awarded the incredibly moving drama six trophies in all, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, and Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. Clear frontrunner Cate Blanchett continued her roll with another Best Actress award, Jared Leto landed Best Supporting Actor for his transformative work in Dallas Buyers Club, and the Best Animated Film trophy was split between Frozen and The Wind Rises. Additionally, the Boston Online Film Critics Top 10 has a few refreshingly eclectic choices, with The World’s End, Blue Is the Warmest Color, and The Spectacular Now all nabbing well-deserved spots alongside films like Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Inside Llewyn Davis.
For those keeping score at home, we now have three critics group announcements and three different Best Pictures. The New York Film Critics Circle went for American Hustle, the National Board of Review lauded Her, and now Boston has tapped 12 Years. Hit the jump to read the full list of Boston Online Film Critics awards.
With the 2013 theatrical release of The World’s End now behind us, one of the greatest comedy movie trilogies in history is now complete. Dubbed “The Cornetto Trilogy” due to the confectionary treat being featured in each film, director Edgar Wright’s sweet cinematic set is now being packaged all together on one Blu-ray, a copy of which will go to five lucky winners.
“The Cornetto Trilogy” Blu-ray includes the 2004 horror comedy, Shaun of the Dead; the 2007 action comedy, Hot Fuzz; and the 2013 sci-fi/drinking comedy, The World’s End, all starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. If you’re on the fence about picking it up, check out the list of special features here, and then enter the contest. Hit the jump for details on how you can win.
I’m a big fan of Edgar Wright‘s films, and his latest, The World’s End, will probably end up on my annual Top 10 list. It’s not just funny and emotionally satisfying, but the construction is superb, and yet it’s markedly different than his previous films in the “Cornetto Trilogy”, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
I was hoping to talk to him about the film during its theatrical release, but I’m glad we got to discuss last week since The World’s End is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download. During our conversation, we talked about tweaking and altering early ideas for the script (like the construction of the “twin-bot”), making the characters an amalgam of high school acquaintances, and more. Also, knowing I couldn’t get much of an answer, I reluctantly asked him about the Ant-Man casting rumors. To my surprise and Wright’s credit, he did provide a brief answer. Hit the jump to check out the interview. [Warning: This interview contains spoilers for people who haven't seen The World's End]
Before I begin, I would like to make a disclaimer that most of my days working for Collider are uneventful. This is a fun job, but it’s still a job. I usually write from home and go to film screenings. I tell you this because the article you’re about to read is going to sound like bragging, but I assure you it’s not. It’s simply a recounting of one of the best weeks of my life. There’s no other way to put it when you’re flown out to London for the Blu-ray/DVD release of The World’s End, stay in a fancy hotel, eat delicious meals, go on a pub crawl of four pubs featured in the movie, interview stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, participate in overly-difficult pub trivia, and then have a free day to explore the city. It was an amazing time, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about it.
Hit the jump to read about my incredible trip to London and how I failed miserably at trying to jump over a hedge.
If you haven’t picked up Edgar Wright’s The World’s End on Blu-ray just yet, we have one of the disc’s special features to share with you today. It’s a visual effects featurette that takes a look at the preparation of some of the more spectacular action sequences, but is a bit spoilery if you haven’t seen the film yet. If you’re on the fence about picking up the Blu-ray, read up on Adam’s review here. And if you somehow have made it this far without seeing the film itself, Matt’s review may just persuade you to check it out.
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine and Rosamund Pike, The World’s End is now available on Blu-ray. Hit the jump to watch the VFX featurette.
Last week, I took a trip to London for the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Download release of Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. While I’ll have a full recap of my trip tomorrow, part of the trip involved sitting down to a nice meal with stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at the St. Stephens Tavern. Usually, interviews with actors are around ten to twenty minutes, but my fellow movie website writers and I got to spend an hour-and-a-half eating lunch and chatting with the charming actors. I wish all interviews could go like this since it’s more laid back, the conversation flows more freely, and delicious fish and chips are always a welcome bonus.
Instead of transcribing the entire 90-minute interview, I’ve pulled out some of the highlights, which includes more details about the robots (a.k.a “blanks”), the actors’ past films, the story behind the infamous Ant-Man photo Pegg posted to Twitter, Internet rumors, the culture of arrested development, and much more. Hit the jump to read the recap. The World’s End as well as the “Cornetto Trilogy”, which also contains Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, are now available for Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download.
Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
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The Cornetto Trilogy (aka “Three Flavours Trilogy”) is a cinematic delight in every sense of the word, and its status as such was solidified with the third and final entry in the loosely connected trio of films, The World’s End. Much more than simply riffs on the horror, action, and sci-fi genres respectively, writer/director Edgar Wright, co-writer/star Simon Pegg, and star Nick Frost have crafted three masterworks of structure that are as entertaining as they are emotionally satisfying. Following Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, The World’s End may be the toughest and most mature work of the three, capping off the trilogy with a pair of career best performances by Pegg and Frost and wonderfully innovative visual storytelling courtesy of Wright. Read my full review of The World’s End on Blu-ray after the jump.